Saturday, June 4, 2011

Metaphors at the State Science Fair

Here is a selection of the tasty similes and metaphors middle school students from the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair contributed today to the Mistress of Metaphor's pot (Students pick up a prompt and complete it in this activity related to my book Lost in Lexicon):

I sat down and cried like... a river flowing down after a big melt.
Annoying as... a dog barking in the middle of the night.
Tall as... a skyscraper looming over a city.
The setting sun was... like an orange Jello over the horizon.
My bed at the end of the day was... messy and unclean like after a tornado. [We did have tornadoes in Massachusetts this week.]
My old dog panted like... an old train exhausted from travel.
Cold as... winter's frost infested breath.
The setting sun was... a falling fiery red cannon ball the size of the moon.
Dark as... a night alley.
We ran out of there like... a herd of wild buffalo being chased by Indians.
I sat down and cried like... a baby that just had a shot.
The night sky was... ominous as a wizard lifting his cape.

Three hundred middle school kids, selected from their school science fairs all across the state, attended the state science fair today. They were a very diverse group, about equally divided between boys and girls, with a good representation of black, white, Hispanic, East Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern students. I saw projects on using pheromones to trap males of invasive crab species; testing how far a soccer ball flies when it's inflated to different pressures (and struck by a mechanical foot); testing what characteristic of a glass determines its resonant frequency, and many more. There were bubbles, sugary drinks, music played to growing plants, solar-powered hydrolysis, and a model of tide power.

All of this, and they were also good with words. I left feeling proud of Massachusetts students and optimistic about the prospects for innovation and discovery among the rising generation.

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